‘Iran seeks friendly ties with all regional countries’
A senior Iranian diplomat says Tehran seeks to improve its relations with all countries in the Middle East region, including Saudi Arabia.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran seeks to establish friendly ties along with mutual respect with regional countries, including Saudi Arabia,” said Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian during a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam in Beirut on Wednesday.
“We are ready to hold talks with our Saudi friends and we believe that this country enjoys an important role and status in the region,” he stated.
Amir-Abdollahian also voiced Iran’s readiness to cooperate with regional countries to ensure Lebanon’s security, adding that undermining the security of the Arab country just benefits the Israeli regime.
“Iran has always been concerned about Lebanon’s security and stability, and the frequent meetings of Iranian officials with their Lebanese counterparts indicate this concern,” the senior diplomat stressed.
He further touched upon the “important” visits of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to regional countries immediately following the recent breakthrough in nuclear talks between Tehran and the P5+1, saying they testify that “Iran’s foreign policy is to improve regional relations within the framework of maintaining stability and security.”
Tehran and the P5+1 – the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany – finalized the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) over the Iranian nuclear program on July 14. Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.
Later in the day, Amir-Abdollahian left the Arab country for neighboring Syria and was welcomed by Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad.
According to Syria’s official news agency SANA, the Iranian official also met with Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi to discuss ways to boost bilateral relations in such fields as industry, agriculture, health, oil and electricity.
During the meeting, Amir-Abdollahian reiterated Iran’s pledge to support the Syrian government and people in their battle against foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists.
Halqi, for his part, hailed Iran’s stance towards the crisis in the Arab country, saying Tehran has responsibly tried to reduce the impacts of war and unjust economic sanctions on the lives of Syrian people.
The Iranian diplomat further held talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, SANA reported.
Syria has been facing a foreign-backed militancy since 2011. Takfiri terrorists, who currently control areas across Syria as well as northern and western Iraq, have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations, against Iraqi and Syrian communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.